Beijing Olympic Stadium, Herzog & De Meuron

What does it take to light one of the most striking structures on earth? An idea that is simple yet sophisticated, great artistic and technical insight, and close collaboration between the client, lighting designer, architect and engineers.
The Beijing Olympic Stadium’s overall external image at night was very important, for those who view it from the ground as well as for views from above, such as helicopter filming during the Olympic Games. The lighting is a key factor in highlighting the unique architecture. It makes the Stadium is visual landmark.

The lighting concept design was developed with simplicity in mind, allowing the architecture to speak for itself and ensuring that the Stadium would glow from within – reminiscent of a Chinese lantern – drawing people to the hive of activity within. The abundance of light from inside the Stadium silhouettes the exterior beams and columns.
The white, translucent ETFE acoustic ceiling above the arena seating, and the semi-transparent PTFE surface on top of the roof structure both glow at night by uniformly lighting the top surface of the acoustic ceiling with a series of evenly-spaced floodlights mounted within the roof structure. The lighting design could only come to reality thanks to the numerous mockups on site that we evaluated with the client.


Project Credits

  • Client: China National Olympic Committee, Beijing, China
  • Architect: Herzog & De Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
  • Engineers: Arup, Hong Kong (Tony Choi)
  • Arup Lighting, London (Jeff Shaw)
  • Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Victor Zheng)
  • Red LED strip lights
  • Yellow sodium lighting
  • White floodlighting